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Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve

505 Guana River Road, Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 32082
(904) 823-4500
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Certificate of Excellence 2014
Type: Nature/ Wildlife Areas
Owner description: The Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve (GTM Research Reserve) is dedicated to the conservation of natural biodiversity and... more » Owner description: The Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve (GTM Research Reserve) is dedicated to the conservation of natural biodiversity and cultural resources through research and monitoring to guide science-based stewardship and education strategies. The GTM Research Reserve was formed through a collaboration of Florida's Department of Environmental Protection and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. It covers 74,000 acres of coastal lands in northeast Florida from Ponte Vedra Beach to Palm Coast. The GTM Research Reserve is part of a national system of research reserves that focus on research, education and stewardship. The GTM Research Reserve has a 21,000 square foot Environmental Education Center which includes interpretive exhibits, aquariums, classrooms, teaching and working laboratories, an auditorium and an outdoor amphitheater overlooking the Guana River Aquatic Preserve. Education staff offer programming for all ages on the importance of estuarine ecosystems. A Coastal Training Program offers training for professionals on issues of concern in our local community including watershed, invasive plants and much more. « less
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44 reviews from our community

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English first
Mount Dora, Florida
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 6, 2014

Great nature trails, fun interactive building for kids and parents alike. Need bug spray and sun screen in the summer! Kids get to do scavenger hunt to find all the different animals. Great break if you need time off from the beach

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Jacksonville Beach, Florida
Top Contributor
116 reviews 116 reviews
33 attraction reviews
79 helpful votes 79 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 18, 2014

Extremely well maintained and with multiple trails leading to the river, you'll never get bored of hiking this place. Ample parking and picnic tables make for a very relaxing trip. Keep in mind there are other entrances and this review is just for the main location off A1A in Ponte Vedra.

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Saint Augustine, Florida
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
6 attraction reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 5, 2014

My girlfriend and I went here for a couple hours and just walked the trails. It's a $3 entry fee. At the start of the trails they have a nice little map you can carry that tells you the distances and where benches are located. If you're into Eco preservation they have an interesting project going on in which they... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Jacksonville
Top Contributor
100 reviews 100 reviews
33 attraction reviews
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 29, 2014

Every time we are in this area we visit the beautiful beaches of the GMT Reserve - the highlight of our vacation! It is so peaceful, absolutely wonderful and just so good to spend time on this almost original beach!! During the week all you find are just a few fishermen, weekends people from the surrounding neighbourhood are also enjoying... More

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Westerville, Ohio
Senior Contributor
48 reviews 48 reviews
13 attraction reviews
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 27, 2014

Only a short distance from Vilano Beach you can find a quiet place to take a walk, do some fishing, visit the beach and take in a Environmental Education Center all for a small fee of $3. The staff is very friendly and informative. The area is pet friendly as long as they are leashed. My wife and I walked... More

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New York City, New York
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 attraction reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 7, 2014

At the suggestion of our hotel staff, we visited the beaches on the reserve. The sand was pristine and dotted with shells. The waves were picturesque and the dunes were classically beautiful. Here is where the Europeans first sighted the mainland of the Americas. One can understand their consternation and enthusiasm. The beach was almost deserted and it was spring... More

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Dorchester, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
69 reviews 69 reviews
50 attraction reviews
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2014

This research recreational reserve os 8 miles from St Augustine on the A1A in South Point Vedra Beach which is a really. Ice drive and there are plenty of spaces to pull off and see the different vistas. There are ten miles of walking, hiking, cycling trails you can take and they are all clearly signposted with the distance so... More

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Vilano Beach, Florida
Senior Contributor
48 reviews 48 reviews
9 attraction reviews
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 13, 2014

Very educational outing for anyone. Highly recommend to visit if you are traveling down A1A in Ponte Verdra.

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Asheville, NC
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
5 attraction reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 12, 2014

Yes, it's a biological/habitat reserve. The dunes are natural-looking, the beach is not crowded, the trails are appealing. But everyone keeps missing a great part of the Reserve. There is a very informative Visitor's Center! Here you can see a right whale replica suspended from the ceiling, a telescope trained on an active bald eagle's nest, a couple of (sad)... More

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Jacksonville, Florida
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
8 attraction reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 9, 2014

We took the bikes out to the trails and had a wonderful day exploring. We had one mountain bike and one beach cruiser, both with tag-alongs on the back for our younger children. While I was able to ride the trails with the beach cruiser, it would have been easier with a mountain bike (tree roots, mud, etc). We took... More

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